The elephant in the room


Photo Illustration by Korbl Klimecki

Jeff Gonzales and Jeff Gonzales

Democrats and Republicans will always bicker. Compromises between the differing ideologies of both parties are supposed to ensure balance in our government. But issues such as the federal shutdown can happen in this system when neither side wants to talk.

The latest standoff between the donkeys and the elephants is about health care, specifically the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The victims of this standoff: the American people.

One side says government-regulated health care for all, while the other says government is not the solution. Democrats have offered a flawed solution. Republicans have offered no solution at all.

The current pricing for health care is ridiculous, and without insurance many Americans opt to use the local emergency room where costs are even higher. The bill for an uninsured patient who cannot pay at the ER is fronted by taxpayers. This is common knowledge so we know there is a problem. Instead of finding a common ground solution to this, Americans are left with a new, already broken system that Democrats are fighting for and Republicans are trying to break further.

The rhetoric on both sides is misleading and confusing, yet one thing is clear: No one wants to cross the aisle and find a solution that works for everyone.

Obamacare is a possible solution to a huge problem, but the negative effects of it are already being felt. Employers are cutting workers hours and finding ways to jump through the various loopholes to save money. Small businesses are losing confidence that they can succeed in the new system. Government health care websites have been slow and frustrating.

With all these problems, our leaders should be trying to fix them instead of making the situation worse. Pundits and politicians are the only ones profiting from the mess, while millions of Americans are suffering with no solution.

Medical needs don’t wait for politics. While Washington is fighting, the taxpayer is still paying the bill at the ER, people are avoiding medical visits because they do not have money, and doctors are still offering oppressive high interest  loans to patients so they can at least get some payment.

We as Americans pride ourselves on our exceptionalism. We call ourselves a first-world country. But if you’re sick and uninsured our leaders don’t seem to care. So if you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick, but if you do then Obamacare will matter to you.